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Because She Can Hardcover – February 5, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The not–Anna Wintour character in this much-hyped my-boss-is-famously-unpleasant roman à clef is not–Judith Regan—or, to be positive, is Vivian Grant of Grant Books, "the most hotheaded, ruthless woman" in publishing. She physically and verbally abuses her staff, is having an affair with a married New York City official (who dresses in drag) and has made a "fortune by producing tabloid-inspired blockbusters." And though up-and-coming literary fiction editor Claire Truman has heard all the gossip, she takes a job as an editor at Grant Books and quickly discovers Vivian lives up to her reputation as a foul-mouthed, über-demanding, tantrum-throwing tyrant. Claire tries to maintain some semblance of a life (she's engaged to dreamboat Randall Cox, who went from big man on campus to big man at Goldman Sachs, even though she's really in love with Luke Mayville, a sensitive writer/unrecognized genius), but vicious Vivian keeps her within spitting (and swearing) distance 27 hours a day. Clark, who worked at Regan Books, nails the dark side of the vulgar, spiteful boss archetype, and though the plot is as shopworn as the characters, those in the Page Six and Lloyd Grove set will appreciate this devilish read. (Feb. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Clark, who once worked for publishing mogul Judith Regan, makes her debut in a devilishly funny companion piece to Lauren Weisberger's Devil Wears Prada (2003), substituting the book business for the fashion industry. Claire Truman, who works for a top-tier New York publisher, is about to lose her beloved mentor to retirement. Then she runs into her old college crush, wealthy Randall Cox, who begins squiring her to all the trendiest restaurants in town and lands her a job interview with Vivian Grant, a highly successful publisher known for churning out best-sellers on porn, pulp, and politics. Things start promisingly, especially when Claire is given the go-ahead to sign up talented first novelist Luke Mayville, but Claire soon starts receiving midnight phone calls full of impossible demands from her imperious new boss. Faced with a soul-crushing workload and a marriage proposal from her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, an overwhelmed Claire must suddenly make some life-altering decisions. This entertaining novel rises above its predictable plot and sometimes-flat characters on the strength of its humor--Vivian's vitriolic tantrums are laugh-out-loud funny. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446579246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446579247
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Papuga on September 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What would you endure to have everything you've ever dreamed of? In her first novel, Because She Can, Bridie Clark tackles the classic "overcoming adversity and cruel boss" trope, only she does it with tasteful flair and laugh-out-loud humor. Claire Truman's job is in jeopardy, her latest love interest turned out to be as much of a loser as the rest, and her best friend wants to drag her to a high society function when she'd rather sit on her couch and indulge in the deliciously cliché week-long obligatory break-up mope. After playing the socialite at the opening of an art gallery, Claire's life changes almost over night: she starts dating the very eligible bachelor Randall Cox (her college crush and previously dubbed "Pabst Blue Ribbon" by the friends) who sweeps her into the upper crust, and she takes a job with the a big name publishing house as an editor for the infamous Vivian Grant, rumored to be the most dangerous woman in publishing. After warnings from her mentor, family, friends, and colleagues, Claire weighs the potential benefits of doing her time at Grant Books and decides that career advancement in the competitive world of publishing is worth whatever Grant can throw at her. In the mean time, Claire's romance with Randall Cox moves on fast forward toward happily ever after--or so everyone thinks.

Because She Can certainly sets itself apart among the recently repopularized "boss is evil" genre, but this novel is not about glorifying the cruelty of an employer so much as it is about the strength, intelligence, and internal resilience of a woman able to capitalize on any opportunity presented to her--no matter how overwhelming.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you couldn't put down "The Devil Wears Prada," you'll thoroughly enjoy "Because She Can." Once again we meet a talented, hard working young girl in New York City, Claire Truman, who has the misfortune to land a job working for a wicked witch boss. Vivian Grant is the boss, and she's a shrew who can't be tamed, given to shouting diatribes, manipulation, and all manner of underling humiliation.

Author Bridie Clark was formerly an editor for ReganBooks so it's not a stretch of the imagination to realize from whence her inspiration came. Judith Regan, once in high cotton at Harper Collins, was fired after the O. J. Simpson book debacle (remember, she was going to publish a book by Simpson that contained an interview about his wife's murder). All of this is to say that Clark knows of what she writes and she pens it very, very well.

Our heroine finds herself perplexed by her feelings for Randall Cox, a terrific looking, successful guy and her attraction to Luke Mayville who has just finished his first novel. She loves the book and touts it to Vivian despite the harridan's motto "Smut sells."

What to do? Claire is involved with two attractive men. Which one is for her? That is, if there's anything left of her after suffering the slings of Vivian. She is getting three times her previous salary but is it worth it?

Voice performer Mary Birdsong has a flair for comedy (Deputy Kimball in Comedy Central's Reno 911! )and she brings this to her stunning reading of "Because She Can." She ably conveys Claire's innocence and struggles.

- Gail Cooke
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Melissa N. VINE VOICE on April 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Because She Can" is a fun, entertaining little book, but I can't give it a higher rating than two stars because author Bridie Clark basically stole the entire outline for her novel from "The Devil Wears Prada."

In this story, Claire Truman is an assistant editor in New York City looking to jump-start her career. When her new boyfriend, the oh-so-perfect Randall Cox, lands Claire a meeting with hot-shot publisher Vivian Grant, it seems like a dream come true. Before she can bat an eyelash, Claire has a new job and a huge salary at Vivian's publishing company. Unfortunately, it soon becomes very obvious that this new job isn't all it's cracked up to be. Vivian is much more then a terrible boss: She's a full-fledged psychopath, and she makes Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada" look like an angel in comparison! Claire is determined to stick it through and remain with the company for at least a year (sound familiar, "Prada" fans?). Eventually, though, Claire's job takes a major toll on her physical and emotional health. She's at the office almost 24 hours a day, neglects her relationships with her mother and best friend, and is lucky to see Randall (who is also super-busy with work) a few hours per week. Predictably, Claire finally decides that she needs to make some major changes in her personal and professional life in order to be truly happy.

Believe it or not, I enjoyed reading this book. Clark is a good writer, and the story is humorous and fun. However, I was incredibly disappointed at what an obvious "Prada" rip-off it is. Everything about "Because She Can" was completely predictable, and I felt like I'd read the entire book before...probably because I practically have, except for the fact that Lauren Weisberger's name was on the cover!
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